This “The Best…” list requires a bit of an explanation.
I’ve already posted The Best Websites For K-12 Writing Instruction/Reinforcement. That list primarily contains links to sites that provide direct writing instruction. And I’ve also posted several lists of Web 2.0 tools where writing is a key feature to using them, including The Best Ways To Create Online Slideshows, The Best Ways For Students To Create Online Animations, and The Best Ways To Make Comic Strips Online.
I thought, though, that it would be useful to create another list of the best places where the primary purpose is just to write, and which make it interesting and easy for English Language Learners and other students to do so. I don’t think that’s an artificial distinction and, if it is, so be it!
You can find easier tools that don’t have as many features at A Few Simple Ways To Introduce Reluctant Colleagues To Technology.
Here are my choices for the Best Places Where Students Can Write Online:
Obviously, Edublogs has to be on this list. I know many teachers have successfully had their students write their own individual blogs. However, I’ve found it easier to have class blogs and have students write comments.. You might also find Sue Waters’ post on Tips On Blogging With Students helpful.
WRITING ONLINE BOOKS:
There are two stand-out sites that allow users to very, very easily and quickly create their own online books.
The other exceptional site is called Tar Heel Reader. It has two great features: 1) It has 1,000 simple books with audio support for the text immediately accessible to Beginning English Language Learners and 2) It makes it as simple as you can get for students to create their own “talking” books using images from Flickr.
Storybird is a neat new site where users can choose artwork from a specific artist and then add text to create a storybook.
Story Jumper is a new site that lets kids create their own story books. Online versions are free, and you can pay for hard copies. Registration is quick and easy. You can create your books from “scratch” or use one of several templates they have (one or two of them didn’t seem particularly intuitive to me, but most were fine, and the “scratch” version was certainly easy). The offer lots of easy “props” to integrate into the stories, and you can upload your own photos and type your own text. Once you’re finished, you can email the link to yourself and post it on a student/teacher blog or website.
At Bookemon, you can create an online book for free that can be shared and also have the option to purchase a printed version. What really makes it attractive to me, though, is that you can use any of its templates for a book and just upload a Word or PDF document that will automatically be inserted into the book. In other words, a student who is familiar with Word can write a “book” — including images he/she took or ones they grabbed off the Web (that are copyright-friendly, of course); upload it to Bookemon; and within minutes have an online presentation that looks very much like a virtual book. I really like applications that let students use something they are very familiar with and then convert it into something a lot neater. Students just with the knowledge of typing and copy and pasting can quickly create a piece of writing that looks a lot more attractive and can be shared.
My Storybook lets students easily create simple virtual books with text and images/characters you can insert with a click. You can also draw your own.
Create online talking books at The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Book Builder.
Even though this last site is already on my “The Best…” list for slideshows, I feel I have to include here because it’s so easy to use, and my students have often used it effectively for writing.
buncee lets you easily create simple multimedia creations — almost like an extended virtual postcard. You can grab media off the web and add text.
“Write About” May Be The Education Site Of The Year
Popular “Book Creator” App Can Now Be Used On The Web
Flipsnack lets you easily turn a PDF file into an an online “flippable” book.
This ILA post shares good ideas on how students can create digital writing notebooks, though some of the links in the article are outdated.
I hadn’t even heard of chat stories until recently when I read some TechCrunch posts about them (Amazon’s chat fiction app Rapids ties up with Amazon Studios with launch of ‘Signature Stories’ and Wattpad takes ‘chat fiction’ beyond text with launch of Tap Originals). Then, I saw this tweet from Shelly Terrell:
Chat Story Maker – Record a video of texts created into a story https://t.co/qX7zaexzHc #eltchat #ellchat #engchat #mlearning #edapps #esl pic.twitter.com/Rvsu0GHpvs
— Shelly Sanchez (@ShellTerrell) July 28, 2017
“Commaful” Looks Like An (Almost) Perfect Place For Students To Write Online
“IMAGINE FOREST” LOOKS LIKE AN EXCELLENT WRITING SITE FOR STUDENTS
Students can create online books with Ourboox.
Additional suggestions are welcome.
If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.
First, thanks for the link to Tar Heel Reader.
Second, any teacher planning to use Tar Heel Reader or any other site based on Flickr must know that there are *many* inappropriate pictures on Flickr. That is why it is blocked by the firewalls at many schools. I *strongly* recommend against allowing your students to search for their own pictures. Even innocuous tags like “apple sauce” will turn up some surprising results.
Third, while we are delighted that teachers are using Tar Heel Reader to give their students an opportunity to write, it is primarily intended to be a repository of good books to read. Especially beginning level readers for older kids who have very few accessible choices. Teachers should edit the books their student’s write to assure quality reading for other students.
Tikatok seems to have moved to:
Haven’t used it, but looks good and might soon
Thank you for visiting and reviewing Foboko.com. Paradise Publishers helps bring enthusiastic readers and passionate authors together from around the world with Foboko.com. We recognize educators everywhere! They’re a valued and important part of our community. We invite you to encourage other educators and students, at all levels, to become AUTHORS! The official website launches in early August.
Wonderful post and appreciation to the author for giving a chance to become a writer at school time. I know teenagers have great thoughts and innovative thoughts of writing. Keep it up!
We are liking using kidblog. Given fourth-graders can barely find the letters well enough to log on using their own district log-ons, the simple interface makes it easy for them to use and build confidence. I can teach how to Comment and set rules regarding editing your work before posting.
Great read! Here are some other great ideas fro great places to write. http://www.frankholderauthor.com/
Great list! I see you covered Tikatok, I just wanted to let you know that we’re launching a free to use alternative for kids to write their stories at: https://www.mystorybook.com
I’d love your feedback on it!